07 June 2013, Port Harcourt – Rivers State media practitioners of Ogoni extraction have tasked political office holders from the area to prevail on the Federal Government to implement the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, report on oil devastation in Ogoniland.
The media practitioners, under the aegis of National Association of Ogoni Media Workers, NAOMEW, during a courtesy call on the Deputy Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, in his office in Port Harcourt, noted that since the report was released in August 2011, no visible effort had been made to implement same, while the associated ecological and environmental hazards continue unabated, wondering if the situation would not have been different if Ogonis in political offices showed a bit more concern.
President of the group, Mr. Joe Visangha, said: “It is our thinking that those of you in the legislature should reach out to other elected Ogonis and elite to pressurise the government to implement the report.”
Responding, the Deputy Speaker, representing Khana II constituency, in the state House of Assembly, assured that he will reach out to the intended political officeholders at both the state and federal levels to collaborate in ensuring that government sees the need to implement the UNEP report without further delay.
Kwanee, who doubles as Chairman, Parliamentary Exchange and Mentorship Programme of the Pan-African Parliament, pledged personal material support to NAOMEW to realise its dream of enlightening the people for a better Ogoni, including a planned peace summit to be convened by the body soon.
He, however, said that these aspirations, including Ogoni agitation to produce a successor to Governor Rotimi Amaechi in 2015, would not materialise unless the Ogonis unite to support the current governor in moving Rivers to the next level.
*Egufe Yafugborhi, Vanguard.